Poling with Vlad

God, I love workshops. There is nothing quite the same as getting together with a group of people – all different levels- and learning fun new tricks and routines!

Yesterday’s workshop was with none other than Vladimir Karachunov. If you have yet to see Vlad in action, check out one of my favorite videos here. Known for his unique transitions and creative combinations, Vlad sure as hell taught me a lot!

Vlad n Me

The routine he started with seemed so simple and graceful and turned out to be hard as hell! I was so happy I understood the first three moves!

The thing I love most about workshops is the energy. You feed off each other, you try more than you normally would and you encourage each other. It doesn’t matter if you don’t nail the trick right away, actually it’s sometimes better if you don’t so that you have something to work on! I will admit that the one thing Vladimir was great at was giving personal attention to everyone. He wanted to ensure everyone got help who needed it.

Cup Grip Help

Hence the help I needed trying to master a cup-grip handspring. I love handsprings but I am not a fan on that grip! After demonstrating multiple unique, creative tricks, Vlad was officially re-named a ninja. His skills are just that: precise, elegant, and technical.

We went from the routine into flags, cartwheels and just invert fun. Cartwheels and front flags I can do. For some reason, I mastered these long ago and they feel mostly comfortable to me. Although, I was proud of my flexibility on this. Looking back I don’t think I split my legs as much.

Cartwheel Flag

With the workshop coming to a close, pictures began – obviously! After two hours I know my muscles were feeling a bit worked (and I had to teach right after?!). And you can’t say there wasn’t a serious effort (see picture below)

Pole Burn

After spinning and gripping a brass pole, my hand was ripped apart within the first 30min. We had to bandage it so the blisters wouldn’t keep ripping open – have I ever mentioned how much I hate brass pole!?

Overall it was a great workshop. It was definitely different to be instructed by a male, especially knowing how much more strength he has on me! But his moves were extremely creative and challenging. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to learn tricks so gracefully at one time.

Group Shot

If you get the chance, check him out. I promise he’ll give you something you’ve never thought to try before ๐Ÿ™‚